Volunteer Labour Supply: Micro-econometric Evidence from Italy
This essay examines the evidence in favour of different motivations for unpaid labour supply in volunteer service associations, using an Italian micro dataset which allows use of a measure of household income to test the consumption against the investment hypothesis. The main finding is that the donation of unpaid activity to a volunteer service association is determined both by the consumption and the investment motivation, confirming the evidence of studies for the US, Canada and the UK. Interestingly, however, regional patterns of volunteer labour reflect the pattern of participation described in the social capital literature. People who live in regions relatively well-endowed with social capital do significantly more volunteer labour.
KeywordsSocial Capital Labour Income Total Income Volunteer Work Unpaid Work
My thanks to Sergio Destefanis, Carlo Borzaga, Luigi Bonatti, Gilberto Turati, Federica Origo, Matteo Lippi Bruni, Lorenzo Cappellari, Bruna Bruno, Fernanda Mazzotta, Adriana Barone and the participants at the 21st AIEL conference, and of seminars at the universities of Bergamo and Bologna for helpful comments and suggestions. For any errors and omissions, as always the author alone is responsible.
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